Pawar sought amendment to farm law for farmers’ benefit: Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday defended Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for actively pushing States to amend the APMC Act when he was the Union agriculture minister under UPA-2 rule. Raut said Pawar’s intentions were then aligned with farmers’ welfare and claimed that in 2010, corporates had not entered farming in a big way.
Raut, in his weekly column RokhThok in Sena mouthpiece Saamana, commented on the controversial farm laws passed by the Centre that have triggered the ongoing farmers’ protest on Delhi borders along Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Raut described the three laws, billed by the Centre as key reforms in the agricultural sector, as ‘dark’ laws that will turn ‘farms into graveyards’ and spell ‘death’ for farmers.
Pawar, while he was the Union agriculture minister in the UPA dispensation, wrote to various chief ministers of states seeking amendment to the APMC Act, facilitating the entry of private sector. BJP, which has been claiming that the opposition parties were engaged in political mischief and misleading the farmers by fanning their protest, used Pawar’s letter in support of its allegation and slammed the NCP’s support to the farmers’ protest.
Raut, in his column published on Sunday, defended Pawar and said, “Ten years ago when Sharad Pawar sought reforms in the agricultural sector it was in the interest of the farmers. Then Ambani-Adani had not entered this field. The expansion by the corporates in the field [of agri-marketing] came about in the last six years”.
The article further alleged that the BJP is spreading rumours that farmers’ protest does not reflect the mood of the farmers of the nation. However, the ‘successful’ Bharat Bandh called by the farmers had disproved the theory.
“The three laws will turn farms into graveyards and mean death for farmers,” Raut wrote.
He warned that if farming collapses, it’ll bring the economy down. “Ministers will come and go but if the farms are destroyed the country will suffer. A communist country like China and a capitalist country like America take care of their farmers then why the indifference by Indian government,” he asked in the column.
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